Materiality: An Introduction


“Materiality: An Introduction”

Daniel Miller

pp.1-50 in Materiality, edited by Daniel Miller, published by Duke University Press, London, 2005.


[…] objects are important not because they are evident and physically constrain or enable, but often precisely because we do not “see” them. The less we are aware of them, the more powerfully they can determine our expectations by setting the scene and ensuring normative behavior, without being open to challenge.


We cannot know who we are , or become what we are, except by looking in a material mirror, which is the historical world created by those who lived before us.

Everything that we create has, by virtue of that act, the potential to appear, and to become, alien to us.

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